For the first time, an AI-generated artwork won an art competition

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Someone won a fine art competition with AI-generated artwork. The disruption has just begun.

Jason Allen won the Colorado State Fair’s fine art competition using an AI-generated artwork recently. Allen won in the digital art category with a work called “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial”. The distinction has caused controversy on Twitter where working artists and enthusiasts accused Allen of hastening the death of creative jobs. Allen said that critics are judging the art by the method of its creation and that eventually, the art world will recognize AI-created art as its own category.

Ai artwork fine art
Théatre d’Opéra spatial by MidJourney

Allen spent weeks generating images and refining his prompts. He ended up picking his top 3, passed them to Photoshop, upscaled them using Gigapixel AI and got them printed for the event.

The debate happening on Twitter:

We mainly have 2 different POVs about this.

  • The first one is: This is not art, this is plagiarism X bulls***. People should not make money or take credit for AI “art”. It’s gonna kill creativity and throw all the artists into poverty.”
  • The second one is: That this is actually legit art, the AI is just another tool for creative to play around and create with. It’s gonna be the next disruption in the creative world.

As you might guess, I am more on this second POV side.

But for sure, as Omnimorpho tweeted: “We’re watching the death of artistry unfold right before our eyes — if creative jobs aren’t safe from machines, then even high-skilled jobs are in danger of becoming obsolete. What will we have then?”

For sure, we will have to be active in this revolution, if we just stick to our habits and don’t wanna learn new things, we will probably get kicked out of our current jobs and fall into poverty

The negative discourse about AI art today can be compared to the initial backlash to photography, Allen said, when some people thought that taking photos was just “standing there and pushing a button.”

(But it was the same when the first taxi driver used a car instead of a horse cab, the others thought this would be the end of the world for them, disclaimer: they just needed to sell horses and learn how to drive and buy a car.)

As SamBauer36 puts it: Except it is made by a human. It’s a human operating a machine in order to produce artwork. That’s how all art work, the machine is certainly more complex than what we tend to think of but that doesn’t mean it’s not art.

Some say that it’s just evolved plagiarism at scale but to be honest, every artist is doing this at a different level. Most people don’t create something out of anything.

It’s an old debate each time something disruptive is coming. First people think it’s ridiculous, then that it’s dangerous and eventually, they will accept and everyone will think it’s normal.

I think that we are witnessing the next artistic revolution. It will not happen in a day, the Renaissance spread over many decades for example. But I truly think this is gonna change the way the artist works. Overall, it will allow artists to work much faster and produce higher ends results. Illustrators might get disrupted first but soon it will reach 3D artists and even industrial designers in the longer term (once it can be combined with engineering knowledge).

You should better surf the wave instead of trying to stop it, it’s inevitable but if you put your artist pride (arrogance?) a bit aside and take some time to learn how to use these new tools, you will have a bright future full of abundance and creative juice.

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